"We met in an intro to food production class; Frank Lattucca was the professor. We sat in the same row for over a month and would say hello, but not really chat.
Right before Halloween in 1986, Tim asked me what I was going to be for Halloween. I told him a Red Sox player and that started our friendship. We grew to be close friends, but both had other significant others.
After UMass, we kept in touch sporadically. I had moved to Texas and he was still in Massachusetts. My boyfriend and I at the time split up in 1993, and within a few months of that, Tim came to visit me in Dallas. Within a year, we were dating long distance, visiting each other every three months.
In May of 1995, Tim flew down to Memphis, and we drove back to Massachusetts for me to finally move back home. Tim didn't fly into Dallas because it was $200 more, so I drove from Dallas to Memphis solo.
We took a week to drive to Massachusetts, stopping in Memphis, Virginia, DC and Atlantic City along the way. I knew if we could do that, we were meant to be. We also had my pet rabbit traveling with us!
In 2000, we were married after 14 years of friendship (seven of those as a dating couple). We've been married for almost 17 years now. I can't imagine my life without Tim. We both loved our experience at UMass, have been back separately as guest lecturers for the Hospitality and Tourism Management (HTM) program, and the best thing about UMass was finding each other!"
- Meredith Waites